Although there has long been a stereotype that divorce typically occurs early in marriage, modern statistics indicate otherwise. Each year, many married couples that have spent decades together and may have even retired decide to divorce.
There are many reasons so-called gray divorces have been on the rise recently, ranging from changing expectations about marital relationships to longer lifespans. Some people choose to pursue their happiness during their golden years, especially if they made numerous sacrifices for their family previously. Yet, pursuing a gray divorce after years of marriage involves numerous challenges that people need to prepare for if they want to enjoy a stable life after the end of their marriage.
1. Accumulation of marital property
One of the biggest complicating factors in the average gray divorce will be how much marital property people acquire over years of marriage. Almost all of their personal wealth may be marital property that they have to divide with one another. It can be a challenge to reach an agreement that both parties feel is fair when so much of their property is part of their marital estate.
2. Concerns about retirement savings
Commingled retirement resources will mean that spouses have reason to worry about their budgets for their golden years after they divorce. Many people don’t understand how property division rules work when dividing retirement savings and may hear inaccurate stories from others that leave them panicking about their ability to support themselves after divorce.
3. Issues with adult children
Some parents think that waiting until later in life to divorce can make the whole process easier for their children, but that frequently isn’t what happens in gray divorces. Adult children often have very emotional reactions to gray divorces and are under no obligation to continue seeing both parents the way that underage children subject to a parenting plan would be.
Those who are preparing for a gray divorce need to recognize the very real possibility that they will require years to fully rebuild their relationship with their adult children and their lives after a divorce. Those who recognize and prepare for the unique divorce challenges they may face based on their personal circumstances might have an easier time managing their upcoming gray divorce with the assistance of an experienced legal professional.